tv [untitled] October 18, 2012 1:30am-2:00am PDT
services of the art commission that feel we have been responsive to their need. this isn't to say we can improve. we can do better. our director has shown great leadership. i've met with the office of small business and would be open to looking at ways to improve those entrepreneurial services that the -- might be able to provide. >> it was unclear from the documented whether you disagree with moving the arts program to the office of small business. it sounds like you do. >> yeah. we disagreed with that recommendation in stating that we would not implement that recommendation. although i believe that may be other parties involved in that final decision but it's our perspective that the street artist would best be served by continuing to be governed by artists. unless there are other questions
on the street artist program i will move on to the symphony fund. so on a high level, the arts commission hasline pleased to have partnered with the san francisco simple thoan since 1935. i think it's a landmark that san francisco voted to institute a municipal symphony. in close advisement with the city attorney's office, we believe we are in complete compliance with the charter and the law. the path-through, the earmark like we have for the police department, the municipal earmark from the charter goes directly to the san francisco symphony in it's entirety resulting in 12 community events, symphony events including dolores park and other parts of the city. and the gift that is received by the arts commission from the san francisco symphony is in
compliance with the admin code or the arts commission's ability to accept gifts under 5.100 of the city charter. so and it's our feeling that that is a great partnership and it is the gift is greatly valued and supports our general fund program including community education in our grants program so the arts commission is very grateful and we believe based on the city attorney's advisement that we are in compliance with the charter and with the law on that. >> we can certainly ask the city attorney about that if we want to in a bit. so they submit back 40% i know it's not necessarily the same pool of money. i guess the response is if they didn't do that going forward you could always ask the board of supervisors for a supplemental appropriation. sure every department could do that all the time. but i mean how does that relationship work? is it an assumed, an unspoken given that that's the dollar
amount that you're going to receive from them? >> we currently have a four year mouf. that mou was brokered prior to my arrival but it was i believe signed and approved in the fall of this past year. so the current mou outlines the next four years. it's my understanding that historically there have been different conversations in terms of outlining what the agreement would be. that mou is drafted in close concert with the city attorney's advisement. >> okay. so, again, just from your perspective, in terms of the charter language and specifically dedicated to maintenance, you guys are complying with that. >> i feel that the earmark fund that goes to the symphony produce -- symphony events, the dolores park concert and others and we partner to kind of advertise those to the public and to distribute tickets to those events, and i think that the gift is greatly appreciated from the arts commission in terms of the support that it offers us for our unrestricted
use in terms of supporting other community arts. many of those programs include musicians and artist and so we're able to grow our capacity both through our cultural civic grants programs because of that gift. >> okay. >> so with that, i would just conclude to state that, again, we're very appreciative, i think my coming in, in terms of the transition period that the organization, this has been a great way to dive deep on a number of policy issues. we've agreed with a number of the recommendations in each of those areas of how to improve as an agency. i'm committed to ongoing improvement. i'm open to ways in which i can be more accountable to the public and board of supervisors and make our staff available to the public when there is opportunity to invite people to our meeting. i would love to see broad
community -- and at the full commission level. so i appreciate your consideration of the findings and recommendations and your support as we move forward to kind of solve some of the challenges we see here and championing a new day at the arts commission. >> president farrell: well thanks for your response and your time and i guess welcome and look forward to working together for sure in times to come. and any questions? all right. so thank you very much. i know there are a number of other city departments that were present before and i know we had a delayed start so i don't know who is left. but if there are folks that are left that want to come speak, we see you there. anyone, i will offer you guys the opportunity if any departments want to speak. i'd say line up like public comment but why don't you come on forward and we'd love to hear from you. thanks. >> regina, office of small business. good afternoon. i just wanted to make a note
that our office was asked to respond to a recommendation that the street artists program move over to the office of small business. while in discussion with the commission in our office, we don't think it's within our purview to make a direct recommendation in terms of that, that that is a decision-making matter for either the arts commission for or the board of supervisors or for the mayor. but to state we think that should that decision be made that our office would be appropriate place for the program to land. i do, one, because these are, as noted in the grand jury's report, these are individuals, who are sole proprietors, and i think just because we're not an arts organization does not necessarily mean that we could not manage a program that has an arts focus. in addition to that, with the small business assistance center, and that we do see
individuals who do come to our office, who are interested in operating in the areas where the street artists program now resides, but these individuals are more appropriate for peddlers permits, and there is, i think partly a need to sort of maybe take a look at a comprehensive view in terms of street artists program and the peddlers permits. it is the view of our office that where the street artist program does reside that there are some individuals who are operating under the street artist permit who are more appropriate under a peddlers permit program. but that said, we'd be also very happy to work with the arts commission to enhance that program, provide some support that they need as well. but just wanted to let you know that should a decision be made that we would -- we would be fine with having the program
under the office of small business. >> president farrell: thank you. anyone else? >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm just going to speak on behalf of the public safety because they mentioned about the incident around the opera house. the police department agreed with the recommendation, and the san francisco police department will work with the arts commission, and with the local cultural centers to ensure the security of those using these centers as well as -- facilities and buildings and surrounding areas. by working in collaboration with stakeholders sfpd will take an active role in developing an action plan to address crime and violence issues in and around the centers. concentrated effort will be made to those centers situated in a high crime area, in resources including but not limited to, foot patrols in immediate area whenever possible.
current around the opera house there's an officer who has a dedicated foot beat. he's there at least five days a week. that's his area. the community knows him and he knows the community. interact with the community members as community partners, reading programs, mentoring programs, seasonal event and celebrations. deployment of regular assigned offices to community assignment. that's to make sure that these officers and the community know each other so we don't have officers who are not familiar with the community that they serve. this will establish key community partnerships by having the same officers assigned to these areas each and every day. this assignment -- assignment of district captains as a primary point of contact for the cultural centers, getting to the top person so they will know his or her captain and the captain will know and is responsible for
what's going on in their district. thank you. >> president farrell: thank you. any other departments that came to speak, and are still around? want to come up? okay. i do have a few follow-up questions. i see mr. givners here. there's questions around the legality of the contract with the symphony upon and i don't know if that's something you looked at before, but want to ask the city attorney's opinion on that because there seemed to be contradictory comments about the legality here. >> john givner, deputy city attorney. our office has advised the arts commission that it can accept a gift from the symphony under the charter provides that it can accept gifts. and of course other city laws
provide that the arts commission, like other city departments, can accept gifts. and that the use of those funds has been appropriate. within the arts commission's legal authority. >> president farrell: okay. so we're good. thanks very much. and then i see severance here from our budget and legislative analyst. is there anyone from our -- here. i did have a question around i think for me to the civil grand jury's comments around art maintenance being more appropriately categorized as an operating line item. to me that makes imminent sense. but if someone else wants to talk about that. >> brian benson with capital planning. so the funds for art maintenance
are at least -- of funded through the capital budget process. they're intended to be supplemental but mostly general fund dollars anyway. so they're approved by the mayor and board as it is. so whether or not they're categorized in the department's budget directly in that process are through capital planning. and still coming from the same fund source. regardless of which area it's sort of managed during the process i think capital planning has an interest on the maintenance side because maintenance impacts renewals and capital improvement in the long-term. i think there has been responsibility from the responses from the controller and us but to me it's -- >> president farrell: so you'd have no problem with that. >> i think process-wise, we'd prever it and our response we'd prefer to see its under capital planning but those funds are intended to be supplemental to
what the department can -- through its own operating responses. >> supervisor farrell: thank you very much. any other questions, colleagues? all right. i want to thank everyone who has presented and talked about -- and especially the civil grand jury for all of your hard work. obviously you put a lot of time and effort into this. i want to thank the different department heads that are here and those that are no longer here for coming out today. so before we get to our resolution and what we will adopt, i'd like to open this up for public comment. if there are any members of the public that wish to comment on this item, i have a number of cards. i will call you up to speak but otherwise if members of the public want to line up, you can come up one by one. everyone will have two minutes. michael adaro, paula dattish,
bruce jesse, jane blotchy, and richard rothman. sorry if i butchered any of those 2345eu78s. forward. everyone will have two minutes. please line up on this side of the room. >> hello. mike adisaro, former past chairman of the liaison committee for the street artists program and i would like to play a small clip. this is from 1972. >> president farrell: sf gtv. we've got it up. >> the only thing we can do -- we're caught as bill has said divn the between the parks department and the board of supervisors and the -- for 30 days, at this time of the year,
christmas time, when many of the artists depend on the christmas sales with no legal place to sell detion ig naitd by the board of supervisors we can only advise that the artists go back to the street and sell on the street in a form of protest. i cannot in full conscience certify and take 20 per quarter for people for licenses when they have no place designated where they may function. we are going to act within the law. i worked out -- >> unfortunately with two minutes i have to cut mayor alioto off. but that was phase one of the street artist program. we're in phase two right now with the arts commission and we've seen mismanagement and negative. i have a background in business. i was a manager of many body shops, and what i've southeastern in this street artist program is absolute neglect of best practices. they don't know what they are.
i would suggest one thing, i'd like to say is, in their last district two, they say that the street artist make $4 million a year. that's what we earn. well if you take 400 members and divide it into $4 million, that's $10,000 apiece. that's under the poverty level. we pay the arts commission $300,000 so we are under the poverty level. it has to be changed. and i support the change to the small business organization. thank you. >> president farrell: thank you very much. next speaker come on up. >> i submitted a statement to you guys get it? >> president farrell: speak into the microphone. >> did you get it? did you read it? paula davis. you read it. okay. i'm a living testament to the
mistakes of the san francisco arts commission. i'm an artist. i've been my entire life. i've sold on the streets of new york and san francisco since i've been 15. without a permit, and with a permit. my troubles began in 2008. i was told by howard lazar, the director of the street artist program to call his number, 415-252-2583 to see if there was a quorum for a meeting. i did, and when i called that number some wom paeked up the phone and said paula you're going to jail or sing gospel music to me. i don't know. i was calling the city attorney's office and kathy barnes, thank god for her told me to follow up with a paper trail which i did. i sent an e-mail documenting this and never once got a response from anyone. i eventually got my permit back. there was no factual basis for it to be denied and at the
appeals level i got it back. some time later, about a month later, i was arrested. i was accused of stalking someone at the arts commission who i never met at a date in time when i wasn't even in it san francisco. her name was evelyn russell, and apparent secretary there. this was the same woman who was picking up lazar's phone. i spent 45 days in the san francisco county jail and when i was there, i was noticed by letter, after i was arrested, that the phones were rolling over. i spent another two years in criminal court there, mostly commuting from the east coast to make court dates. there was never a hearing. the woman never showed at hearing. there were probably 15 people on call, nick -- from the sheriff's department, kathy barnes, a lot of people. it was a well-known fact that the phones were rolling over. >> president farrell: thank you very much. appreciate it.
next speaker. >> i'm peter warfield executive director of library users association. i consider it highly offensive that the chair is giving us two minutes and not three as required by the sunshine ordinance. that's required under the sunshine ordinance for public comment and there's only five or six people here making put. first of all i'd like to say that the chair -- and i'd like to ask for three minutes. the chair did not apparently get an answer as to what the symphony money was being used for specifically. it seems the answer for that question was it's legal. but not what the use is. i certainly think the chair might ask for more specifics about what that gift is providing. with respect to the grand jury's recommendation, let me just over all say that in general i agree with many if not most of the recommendations and the
findings, but there's one recommendation that i think is quite toxic and that is until the grand jury has reviewed of what the fends of sfpl has done with the money keeping 90% of what they have received for themselves and giving 10% to the library they should be very cautious about recommending the setting up of separate organizations for the supposed support of the -- any organization whatsoever. there are many other problems with the friends, for example the supervisors agreed with us, not to fund our rfd. this was before your time, mr. chair. the friends fought the -- wanted the outsourcing of work for the library, which we worked to keep in the city, and the supervisors agreed with us on that. with respect to the obstruction of the grand jury through lack of getting documents and phone calls returned we've certainly
experienced that. we also got five, between december 11 and april of this year, we got five unanimous decisions from the sunshine ordinance task force, about illegally obstructive things that the arts commission had done with respect to sunshine, and with respect to understanding of what was going on there. there's a great deal more to be said. in general the grand jury's findings recommendation should be agreed to. do i have three minutes or not? >> supervisor farrell: two minutes like everyone else. thank you very much. >> thank you for the hearing. my name is richard roth mafn and i give tours at coit tower but i'm only speaking for myself today and not city guides. i want to talk about the frescoes because they're unique in the city's treasure. they're painted on walls that are response -- the frescoes are
responsible by the art commission but the buildings are owned by other city departments, rec and park, the zoo, the schools, city college, and public health. and the big problem is communications. and i'll repeat that again, communications. the murals were closed in the 60's for repair. in the late 1990's my wife and i, with the help of the art commission, brought the attention -- the art commission did a two volume report. they fixed the murals. they put in barricades to fix it up. go ahead 20 years again, and the same problem again. the same conserver who ront the report in the early 190's wrote the report and one of the recommendations was an ongoing inspection report which never happened. i think what is needed is an
advisory committee to make sure the departments are communicating. and supervisor elsbernd's department we have the mother's building that needs in dire condition, and part of the problem is the two departments aren't talking. there's another mural in district 11 that needs fixing up. so i think so i don't have to work on this in 20 years forward, that there needs to be some type of body where the two departments talk to each other, and i think this citizens advisory committee, where the departments could come and talk, make sure the vendors following their duty, and making sure we don't have ongoing problems with our murals. thank you. >> president farrell: thank you very much. next speaker please. >> hello. my name is jane blachly and i'm the daughter of one of the coit tower artist, and i have a few comments to make here.
one is about the problem of the traffic that has been going through, regardless of some of the recommendations. i have a letter that was written very recently by the head of the coit tower, john dillen jer and he states in it that he himself saw people walking through, and touching the murals, even using their car keys to point out. and no one was there to do anything about it. there are no guards, there are no curateors, none of the museum type personnel to direct the public on proper behavior. and that is one of the main things that i think should be brought up and done something about, as soon as these other things. and i don't know if the department, that we're discussing here, will any of them be doing that.
it seems to me that what has been said is that everything is operating along pretty much as it should the way it is. and no one has gone into any of the physical kinds of things that are recommended and need to be done, and that should be done as soon as possible. so i'm just trying to bring something like that forward. and i have gotten also a letter from bruce jesse, whose father was a muralist as well on the second floor of the coit tower and he brings up a very good practical point that the arts commission would be able to have a gallery such as other museums and galleries, where there are charges for admission, and where sales could be allowed, since they are allowed to do that. >> president farrell: thank you very much. next speaker. >> hello supervisors, my name is
john -- i am the current manager of the street artist program at herman plaza and i was also manager last year. i was one of the respondants to the grand jury report. i want to touch on a few things. first of all the finding that most of the funds -- increase due to the cost of defending the program manager from violations of the sunshine ordinance from the street artists, i gave this packet earlier. you will see in here that since 2008, 57,314 was paid or charged to the street artist program by five people to go after the program. of that, 57,000, 38,700, that's most of it, with the city attorney, 18,600 was to our program director. so that's wrong. that assessment is wrong.
my second package here i came here for the full blessings of the street artist program. there are 400 of us. we were able to speak to 260 street artists. of those 248 voted again for second time, in four years, leave the street artists program alone. keep us in the street under the art commission. do not move us, do not privatize us. i come here with full support of the street artists. i'll give this to the grand jury. 248 people signed. these are the community that you're supposed to be representing. these are the people who are street artists, artists and entrepreneurs. leave us alone. we're happy where we are. it requires a change to the charter which it's a serious issue too. i'm running out of time. thank you.
>> president farrell: thank you very much. next speaker. >> good afternoon, mr. chairman, supervisor elsbernd, john gul gullenner, the chair of the coit tower effort. it is 78 years old born after the arts commission charter was created and the murals painted the following year. i want to thank richard rothman for championing the preservation of the coit tower mules and he and city guides for literally being up there week after week, showing people who had no idea what they're looking at, what it's about, what san francisco has. and jane blachly whose father has an oil painting. there are four or five oil paintings. her fearlt's painting is a good example of what's missing at coit tower. there is not a tag next to her father's painting saying who painted it.
it's fallen off years ago. we want to pay attention to the grand jury's report recommendation which blame a dysfunctional dynamic between rec and park and the art commission that we hope the board will help fix. as to art funding -- get zero funding for the coit collection. not 1% of what coit towers brings in, and the proposal under the new concessionaire would bring in about 6800 a year under the new concession for coit tower meaning the entire value of the 27 pieces of art there is worth 680,000 in total. think about that. you think what's built at coit tower, what's painted at coit tower is worth just 680,000? i think it's more. after communication we urge the arts commission to reconsider engaging the community in a ne